Interesting. My chief criterion for 'trusting' a link is that the person who sends it writes at least a paragraph of his/her own. I delete without investigation any post that contains a naked URL.
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rickard A. Parker
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2015 4:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: OT - tech talk on safety of youtu.be domain
A little tech talk here about the domain youtu.be and how it is safe.
In Carrol's recent post I noticed a link to http://bit.ly/UTQpm and I've used used links to http://tinyurl.com before on the TSE list. The bit.ly version is shorter partly because the top level domain is "ly" (for Lybia) and partly because "bit" is shorter than "tinyurl." That may be significant in tweets. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_shortening
Anyway, one problem with these shortened URLs is that you may end up at a site that you would not otherwise want to visit. I once almost clicked a link to youtu.be before I realized that it could have done me damage. Turns out that it wouldn't. Both youtube.com and youtu.be ("be" for Belgium) are owned by Google and Google supplies a URL shortener to make tweets to its videos easier.
Here is an explanation I picked up:
To use youtu.be manually, simply take a URL like
and replace the “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=”
Plug that shorter URL into a browser, and you’ll
see it redirects to that video.